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2021 PFN Team Preview: The McDowell Trojans @mcdathletics @bo_orlando @mcboostersfam

Written by: on Thursday, June 17th, 2021

 

McDowell Trojans

Head Coach: Bo Orlando

Assistant Coaches:

Aaron Slocum
Manny Johnson
Justin Hall
Matt Forne
Shawn Carlson
Nate Davison
John Ferraro
Chris Spooner
Matt Glass
Dave Frank

2020 Record: 7-1

2021 Schedule:

2021 McDowell Trojans PFN Page

PIAA District 10 – Class AAAAAA
League: District 10 Region 6
Stadium: Gus Anderson Field

2021 Schedule

DATE

OPPONENT

LOCATION

TIME/SCORE

08-21 Belle Vernon  @ Belle Vernon (SCR) 7:00 pm
08-27 Lake Catholic (OH)  vs. Lake Catholic (OH) (0-0) Gus Anderson Field 7:00 pm
09-03 St. Joes North ()  vs. St. Joes North () (0-0) Gus Anderson Field 7:00 pm
09-10 General Braddock ()  @ General McLane () (0-0) 7:00 pm
09-18 Butler  vs. Butler (0-0) * Gus Anderson Field 7:00 pm
09-24 Erie  @ Erie (0-0) * Erie Veterans Memorial Stadium 7:00 pm
10-01 Cathedral Prep  vs. Cathedral Prep (0-0) * Gus Anderson Field 7:00 pm
10-08 Hollidaysburg  vs. Hollidaysburg (0-0) Gus Anderson Field 7:00 pm
10-15 Canada Prep Academy (ON)  vs. Canada Prep Academy (ON) (0-0) Gus Anderson Field 7:00 pm
10-22 Conneaut  @ Conneaut (0-0) CASH Field 7:00 pm

* – denotes league game
(SCR) – denotes scrimmage

Coming off a successful 2020 District 10 Class 6A campaign boasting a 7-1 record, the McDowell Trojans are looking to build off recent success. 

Though the 2020 season brought several unforeseen challenges to all football teams across Pennsylvania, the Trojans didn’t let uncontrollable factors impact their on-field performance in negative ways. 

To briefly recap, McDowell dominated Erie High and Butler — the only other 6A schools in the district — and secured two commanding victories over city rival Erie Cathedral Prep, the first time the Trojans beat the Ramblers twice in the same season since 2004. Two playoff victories propelled the Trojans deep into the PIAA state playoffs before McDowell finally fell to Central York, ending a successful season.  

Building on success

Trojans head coach Bo Orlando is looking to build on last year’s success. 

“We are having an incredible off-season in the weight room,” Orlando said. “We need to continue to build off of last year’s season, the playoff run to the western finals, and incredible team culture.”

So what makes the 2021 McDowell Trojans stand out? 

It’s the team’s size and strength. Both the offensive and defensive lines are returning most of their starters — and they are BIG. Randy White (6’3/240lb), Roman Meola (6’0/240lb), and Avery Brine (6’5/320lb) are just a few of the names that will anchor the line. 

High expectations 

And with such size and strength returning, it’s no surprise that expectations are high for the Trojans. McDowell is one of the premier teams in Western Pennsylvania, and the preseason front-runner for the District 10 Class 6A title. A state title run wouldn’t be out of the question either. 

But to make those expectations a reality, the Trojans will have to fill some key losses on offense. Explosive running back Tama Ramahi along with quarterback Chris Juchno both graduated, accounting for much of McDowell’s scoring in 2020. 

The experienced Trojan offensive line and tight ends should make filling these roles easier, but replacing such crucial positions leaves some questions about what the 2021 offense will look like and how it will perform. 

“The running backs will be Ray Jackson and Artis Simmons,” Orlando said. “There’s a competition for the quarterback position in training camp.”

Even with those questions lingering, look for the Trojans to be on top of District 10 and a contender for the Class 6A PIAA crown. 

Key Starters Lost:

Chris Juchno QB
Caleb Brobst C
Braeden Soboleski WR
Anthony Emling WR/DB
Rashawn Tate DB
Johnny Heubel TE/LB
Justo River RB/LB
Tama Ramahi RB/LB

Key Returning Players:

Offense:  

Avery Brine JR OL 6’5 320

Randy White SR OL 6’3 290

Roman Meola SR OL 6’1 270

Hunter Hodges SR WR 6’1 190

Matt McGregor SR TE 6’4 210

Defense: 

Randy White SR DL 6’3 290

Roman Meola SR DL 6’1 270

Jacob Soboski SR DE 6’1 190

Hunter Hodges SR DB 6’1 190

Matt McGregor SR DB 6’4 210

Christian Santiago JR DE 6’3 240

Mike Osinski SR LB 5’11 215

Bryce Wood SR LB 6’3 215

Key Newcomers:

Cooper Cousin SO 6’6 280 OL/DL

Trey Gooodwine JR 5’11 175 WR/DB

Ray Jackson JR 6’1 185 RB/DB

Aiden Cozzens SR 6’2 285 OL

Nick Vogan JR 6’1 220 DE

Joey Orlando JR 6’2 230 TE/DE

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